profit and loss statement (P&L)

A profit and loss statement (P&L), also known as an income statement, is a financial report that shows a company's revenues and expenses over a given period of time, usually a fiscal quarter or year. It is one of four major statements in the financial reporting process, and it shows the organization's net profit or loss during that time.

While P&L statements can be constructed in Microsoft Excel, spreadsheet use in corporate finance processes is generally discouraged by industry experts. Instead, companies can automate the financial reporting process with the finance module of an enterprise resource planning system (ERP) or by adopting specialized financial reporting software. 

See also: spreadmart

This was last updated in January 2014

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